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Apollo Program, 1961 - 1977

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 5, Series 1, Sub-Series 5

Scope and Contents

The Apollo sub-series contains a high volume of diverse materials. It houses both personal papers consisting of congratulatory correspondences from friends, family, and NASA colleagues together with newspaper clippings collected by Neil Armstrong in the years following the success of the lunar landing mission as well as the working files used by Armstrong in the years of planning and during the Apollo 11 mission.

The guiding principle in the organization of the working files is to maintain the organizational pattern used by Armstrong himself. However, this pattern was a suggestive one as the sheer volume of materials generated by the Apollo program itself led Armstrong to group large amounts of related materials together under general headings without these headings having any discernible internal organization. Though the materials falling under any one of Armstrong's headings are all clearly related, he himself did not seek to impose any specific organizational pattern on them, and thus there are materials of different varieties from a wide range of dates found under any given heading. All of Armstrong's general subject headings have been retained and the materials he had grouped under these headings remains intact. Heading titles used by Armstrong are indicated by enclosure in [brackets]. However, a structure has been imposed on these materials in two ways.

First, the Apollo materials were housed by Armstrong in different locations, and therefore there was no clear meta-structure of all Apollo related material. One has been imposed here in the following way. When Apollo material was found in a particular location, these materials proved to be related. Armstrong himself had used a large number of general headings to organize his papers, and these headings themselves fell into 6 categories: Systems, consisting of technical documents generally describing the equipment and procedures necessary for the success of the Apollo Program missions, the lunar landing in particular; Training, which consists of memos, reports, and technical documents relating to the training procedures and equipment necessary to prepare the astronauts for the Apollo program missions; Mission Planning consisting of memos, reports, and technical documents detailing the specific steps undertaken in the execution of the Apollo program missions, especially Apollo 11; Results, consisting largely but not exclusively of reports and conference summaries detailing the successes of the Apollo program and the findings of experiments associated with Apollo, in particular the advances in Moon science stemming from Apollo 11; Public Relations, consisting of documents expressly intended for public relations and instructions for how NASA representatives should handle information with the press; and finally, Subject Files, which contain various smaller files labeled by Armstrong and were not housed by him under any general heading.

The second way in which order was imposed upon the collection, aside from the grouping of Armstrong's numerous general headings under larger categories, was the ordering of Armstrong’s headings themselves. For the sake of simplicity, these headings have been placed in alphabetical order within their respective categories.

In many cases, it was necessary to move oversized items from their original context for preservation purposes. Any time an item was moved, researchers will find separation sheets documenting the change and cross-references within the finding aid to the Apollo artifacts, oversized, and photo subseries respectively.


  • 1961 - 1977

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Collection material is primarily in English. Russian is also present.

Access Information

Collection is open for scholarly research. A 48 hours notice and consultation with the Flight Archivist is required to access the collection.  Portions of the collection are restricted per donor restrictions and third party privacy.


From the Series: 41.46 Cubic Feet (83 letter-size full-width manuscript boxes, 10 letter-size half-width manuscript boxes, three flat boxes, three legal-size full-width boxes, two legal-size half-width boxes, and two flat files)